Wanna see the guts of the Advantage2? Come and have a look and see the internals of this weird keyboard.



Years ago a co-worker had an Advantage2 keyboard but at that time I did not want to spend the time to get used to it. Now years later I found out that another co-worker had that keyboard and he agreed to borrow it to me. He specifically told me not to reverse engineer it, it was a quite costly keyboard which he paid for himselves. Ofcourse I tried to convince him that it would be better that I would open it up and make some pictures. Here we go ( again 🙂 ).

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And it contains the Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches, shown below.

Now what is wrong with it?

  • The keyboard is too flat, the wrists need to be rotated too much.
  • It does have a wire, I would like it to be wireless.
  • The pinky still has problems to reach all the keys. Pinky keys should be closer to eachother because that finger has a less travel distance when leaving the palm of your hand on the keyboard.

You might have seen my 3D SpaceKeyboard already, so what could I do with this thingy.

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Which keyboards *do* I really like then are:
The ManuForm keyboard by GranDesigns (Jeff Gran). You can order it on Shapeways. Here is a link to the article he wrote in 2013.

The Dactyl.
Down side is that it has two separate parts, which can get misaligned fast. maybe connect them somehow? The problem with the pinky is still not completely solved with this design.

Project Dark Matter Beta
Pros:

  • Looks pretty awesome
  • Staggered column selection (vertical)
  • Uses Gateron Blue switches, clicky and tactile, Cherry MX compatible
  • Split design
  • Fully programmable (future from GUI)
  • Teensy LC, arduino compatible, internal EEPROM storage for keybindings
  • Configurable colors

Cons:

  • Split design, not attached to each other, you keep aligning them all the time
  • Limited amount of thumb buttons

The Infinity ErgoDox also in other versions
Pros:

Cons:

Mouse or keyboard? Funded on Kickstarter, The KeyMouse, also really weird . ..

Closing with a completely weird keyboard, here is the Yogitype keyboard:
Pros:

  • Scientific research done that is is more ergonomically
  • Staggered column selection (vertical, but in this case also a bit diagonally)
  • A Dutch invention 😀

Cons:

  • You need to be able to type blind
  • No compensation for finger size difference


Possible different replacement keys


All Cherry MX keys have the same footprint so they are fully exchangable. This makes it possible to modify the feel of the switches. When for instance you do not want to press that deep, you can choose Speed keys. Cherry only has one type of that, but the Kailh switches (Chinese knockoff) do have a much shorter actuation distance (around 1.1 mm apposed to the standard 2 mm).


Model Actuation
force
Actuation
distance
Linear Tactile Clicky Special
Cherry MX Black 0.60 N 2 mm Linear
Cherry MX Red 0.45 N 2 mm Linear
Cherry MX Blue 0.50 N 2 mm Tactile Clicky
Cherry MX Brown 0.45 N 2 mm Tactile
Cherry MX Silent Red 0.45 N 2 mm Linear Silent
Cherry MX White 0.80 N 2.2 mm Tactile Clicky
Cherry MX Silver 0.45 N 1.2 mm Linear Speed

One thought on “Advantage2 keyboard teardown and other awesome keyboards

  • 2017/12/04 at 13:14
    Permalink

    Thanks for the research, Marco! A brilliant article!

    Reply

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